Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Disney Daze

Halloween is in full effect at the Disneyland resort in Anaheim with the 3 hour Happiest Haunts tour being sold out 15 minutes after going on sale and Mickey's Halloween Party and trick or treating taking over the park several nights a week. With Disneyland closing at 7:00 PM Friday, the crowd invaded California Adventure Park so we decided not to head over. Saturday we supported the House of Mouse by taking in touted # 1 show The Lion King, an expanded version of the 1993 mega hit starring James Earl Jones, Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Jeremy Irons. Playing a limited engagement at Costa Mesa's beautiful Segerstrom Center for the Arts across from giant mall Southcoast Plaza, the 90 minute movie was expanded to a 2 hour and 40 minute show that sees elaborate costumes, moving sets, song and dance. I can't say I'm the biggest appreciator of live theatre but you had to admire the effort. The venue was quite large and the cast, crew and orchestra put on quite a show. There were bars on each floor where you could pre-order a drink for intermission even though you couldn't take them to your seats, random...

On Sunday it was off to Disneyland to make use of our Annual Passes. It was surprisingly crowded but we were taking a tour so we'd be in good shape. This is our 3rd or 4th tour at Disneyland after learning about Walt Disney himself, getting the lowdown on California Adventure Park and the general Welcome look around. Tours are an awesome way to experience the park as not only do you learn a lot, get hard to see looks behind the scenes and a special pin but best of all you get on several rides without waiting! Today it was Cultivating the Magic aka checking out all the plants in the park. Disney's magic is in the details and horticulture is a big part of it. With nearly 200 employees taking care of the plants, it's amazing some of the things you walk by not realizing how much time and effort goes in to maintaining. Some eye opening developments for me were learning about the vast types and numbers of plants used throughout the park like decades old trees lining Main Street or a Chinese redwood over in Adventureland. Or how the fences and walkways change between lands. At one point it was pointed out that stalks of corn were growing near Tomorrowland while the Jungle Cruise's lush rainforest is all irrigated and an Energy Star winner meaning that Disney isn't wasting a lot of money or resources to keep up appearances. Rides we were able to walk on to were The Jungle Cruise, where we got our own boat, the Haunted Mansion (bypassing the huge line) and those little boats over at Storybook Land. It was a brisk two hour tour and our guide was great. We were recognized by another tour guide so I guess that makes us regulars huh? See ya next week for the Happiest Haunts 3 hour extravaganza!

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